by Stephen Lendman
Washington and Israel are longstanding imperial partners. Netanyahu supports Obama's war on Syria.
He bombed Syria at least six times last year. Obama defended his lawlessness. Syria poses no threat. He lied claiming Israel has a right to defend itself against enemies.
He's complicit in all Israeli attacks. Both countries jointly plan them. They're provocative. They want Assad drawn into responding.
He's not stupid. He knows what's going on. He holds a commanding advantage against US-enlisted death squads. He want direct confrontation with Israel and/or Washington avoided.
For how long remains to be seen. Netanyahu and Obama want him toppled. Obama didn't wage war to quit.
Israel actively supports anti-Assad death squad killers. IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz provocatively deployed extra forces along Syria's border.
He visited Golan. He called positioning the 210th Regional Bashan Division there a significant boost to border security and stability.
He said Israel's side of the border looks serene. "(U)nderneath the quiet, a storm is raging," he added.
He falsely accused Iran of "giving out torches to pyromaniacs who are running wild in the region."
"We are maintaining operational readiness," he stressed. He called doing so a strategic shift enabling a faster ground, air and sea response to threats to Israel's security.
He called changes instituted "very significant. We are ready for every scenario. When the state dials 911, the military will report for duty."
Israel's only enemies are ones it invents. Does new strategy suggest possible direct intervention against Syria?
Is Obama coordinating things with Netanyahu? Is escalated conflict planned? Will false flag deception initiate it?
Perhaps US-manipulated failed peace talks wrongfully blamed on Assad will be used as pretext. Maybe another Israeli air attack is prelude for something bigger?
On Monday night, Israeli warplanes bombed Hezbollah targets. They did so along Lebanon's border with Syria.
Lebanon's National News Agency confirmed it. Areas around Bekaa Valley's Nabi Sheet and Janta were targeted.
No official Hezbollah or Lebanese government comment confirmed it. Nor anything from Syria and Israel.
Israeli media reported what happened. Haaretz headlined "Israeli planes attack Hezbollah targets on Lebanon-Syria border." It quoted Netanyahu saying:
"I am not speaking about claims that have been made about what we did or didn't do."
"Our policy is clear - we do what we have to in order to secure Israel."
Haaretz cited Al Arabiya News saying a number of Hezbollah members were killed.
Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen TV maintains close Hezbollah ties. It denied any members killed or wounded.
It remains to be seen how Hezbollah responds. It likely depends on whether Israel plans more aggression.
Attacking the Syrian/Lebanese border was the first attributed to Israel this year. It won't be the last.
Previous attacks alleged Syrian weapons heading for Hezbollah were targeted. Why Assad would send elsewhere what he needs at home wasn't explained.
Nabi Sheet residents said they saw flares light the night sky ahead of the raids. Bombing shook their houses, they said.
They heard low-flying planes. Areas struck were nearby. Nabi Sheet and Janta are Hezbollah strongholds.
Most previous Israeli attacks were on Syria's side of the border.
Expect provocatively attacking Hezbollah eventually to draw a response.
Its forces embarrassed Israel's IDF during its 2006 Lebanon war. They're much stronger now. They have thousands of missiles able to strike virtually any Israeli target.
One IDF provocation too many may get them to respond in kind. Doing so would greatly escalate regional conflict.
Obama likely intends it. Perhaps jointly with Israel. Saudi Arabia is sending more sophisticated weapons to extremist anti-Assad fighters. More on this below.
Israel attacked Hezbollah positions for the first time since mid-2006. Sociology Professor Waddah Charara believes doing so could signal an important turning point.
Hezbollah's involvement in Syria leaves it vulnerable to retaliatory attacks. Israel believes it can target its positions without accountability. For how long without responses in kind remains to be seen.
Reports indicate KSA is supplying extremist Syrian insurgents with surface-to-air missiles and other heavy weapons. Amman Behjat Suleiman is Syria's ambassador to Jordan.
He said Washington, Israel and Saudi Arabia established joint command headquarters in Amman. They did so to escalate war on Syria, he believes.
Plans call for controlling southern Syria, establishing a foothold, advancing toward Damascus, and attacking from its southern suburbs.
Last week, Obama promised Jordan's King Abdullah II a billion dollar loan guarantee. He renewed Washington's commitment to provide $600 million in US financial and military aid.
He wants Jordanian territory to escalate aggression against Syria. CIA and US special forces train insurgent fighters there. Instruction in chemical weapons use is included.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Defense Department officials have new "options (against) Syria moving forward." He didn't elaborate further.
Clearly he suggested escalated intervention. Obama may not wait long before doing so. Is drawing Hezbollah into the conflict planned at the same time?
Will Washington and Israel be joint belligerents? Is last summer's postponed aggression rescheduled? Could bombs away happen any time?
Regional analyst Salim Harba said Washington and Saudi Arabia escalated anti-Syrian propaganda. They're doing it to compensate for failing to oust Assad militarily so far.
At the same time, he said, "terrorist groups in Southern Syria are publicizing that they will begin a war under the title of 'Battle for a Way to Damascus' (despite being) unable to do anything" so far.
Syrian military victories enrage them, Harba added. He believes Saudi Arabia "reached the end of the road in the Syrian battle because (it) does not have the military knowledge and it only executes US orders."
Reports said Syrian forces made major advances in southern Syria's Daraa countryside. They retook a strategic military area.
They regained control of Katebeh Al-Kimiya in western Daara. Mop-up operations continue.
Daara borders Jordan. It's 56 miles south of Damascus. Its population is mainly Sunni. It numbers around 100,000. The greater area is half again that size.
Saudi Arabia's anti-Syrian campaign continues. Prince Bandar is out. He headed anti-Syrian operations. Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef replaced him.
Bandar failed to topple Assad. His scheme to enlist Putin's support failed. His threats were ignored. His multi-billion bribe was refused.
Whether bin Nayef improves on his performance remains to be seen. Reports say Prince Miteb bin Abdullah (King Abdullah's son) is involved in Syrian policy. He heads KSA's National Guard.
The Saudi government made no official announcement of changes made. They come at time Syrian forces continue to defeat terrorists and seize territory they held earlier.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei adviser Akbar Velayati reiterated Iran's support for Syria. He calls it an "essential cycle in the resistance axis in the region."
Syria is stronger than ever, he said. It's resilient despite three years of terrorist attacks against it.
Obama's war continues. Escalation looms. Israeli involvement is likely.
On February 18, Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and IDF chief General Benny Gantz visited wounded Syrian insurgents in Golan. Israel treats them at its military field hospital.
Reports suggest CIA operatives want Free Syrian Army elements revived into an effective fighting force. They're inept against superior government forces. Anti-Assad fighters are mostly Salafist extremists.
CIA operatives and Pentagon instructors actively train new recruits. They're doing it in Jordan. Syria knows what's going on.
It warned Jordan about "playing with fire." It's US headquarters for attacking southern Syria.
Doing so has risks. Greater Hezbollah and Iranian involvement may follow. Russia may do more to protect its own interests.
Perhaps Syria and/or Ukraine may be its red line. Neocons infest Obama's administration. Escalated conflict is likely. Doing so risks embroiling the entire region. Global war could follow.
Obama may be damn fool enough to risk it. The late Pete Seeger's best known song perhaps was "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy."
It symbolized Lyndon Johnson's failed Vietnam escalation. Each verse ends saying "the big fool said to push on." The final one said "the big fool dead and gone."
Seeger meant Johnson. His fool strategy failed. Obama is his modern-day counterpart. Much greater stakes are involved.
Imagine risking WW III. Imagine potential nuclear weapons use. Imagine possible mushroom-shaped cloud denouement. Imagine what only a damn fool leader might risk.
A Final Comment
Israeli ruthlessness shows no limits. The Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount and Al-Aqsa Mosque rank third in Islamic importance after Mecca's Sacred Mosque and Madina's Mosque of the Prophet.
Since 1948, Jordan held supervisory control. Its 1994 peace treaty with Israel affirms it over all Al-Quds holy sites.
Israeli provocations are commonplace. In 2014 alone, the Al-Aqsa Foundation and Heritage reported 1,720 Israelis invaded the mosque compound provocatively.
Extremist Israeli rabbis want full control over the entire area. So do right-wing ideologues. It covers 144 dunums. It includes both mosques, an Islamic museum, a Sharia Islamic court and other facilities.
Palestinian worshipers remain inside the Al-Aksa Mosque compound to protect it. Israeli forces stormed it belligerently.
In recent months, they escalated aggressive attacks. Violent confrontations followed. In early February, they stormed the mosque during Friday prayers.
On February 25, they did so again. They fired rubber bullets and stun grenades. They did so against nonviolent worshipers. At least 20 Palestinians, including children, were injured.
The attack preceded a special Knesset session. It was convened to discuss "Israel's full control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
Likud MP Moshe Feiglin introduced legislation to do it. Dozens of uniformed and undercover IDF soldiers invaded the mosque compound. They blocked Palestinian worshipers from entering.
They stormed the mosque violently. Israeli fascists want exclusive control over Islam's third holiest site.
What's ongoing is reminiscent of Ariel Sharon's September 28, 2000 provocation. He disruptively entered the Haram Al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary).
The second Intifada followed. It continued until February 2005. It's toll was horrific.
It took nearly 4,200 Palestinian lives. They included 886 children and 271 women. Israel conducted 554 extrajudicial assassinations.
Scores of innocent bystanders were killed. Thousands of Palestinians were disabled or maimed for life.
Around 8,600 were lawlessly imprisoned. They included 288 children and 115 women.
Nearly 600 students were killed. So were 32 teachers. Over 2.3 million dunums of Palestinian land were stolen.
Tens of thousands more dunums were razed. Nearly 1.4 million Palestinian trees were uprooted. Over 7,700 homes were demolished. Another 94,000 were damaged.
Is Israel provoking a similar confrontation now? Is it doing it while planning war on Syria? While daring Hezbollah to respond to its latest aggression?
Israel's entire history is blood-drenched. It's rap sheet reflects decades of terror state.
It stops at nothing to achieve unchallenged regional power. Its current plans bear close watching. Anything ahead is possible.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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